The announcement of the plant’s closure will eventually lead to 600 job losses and this has translated into civil unrest with disgruntled workers clashing with police in Rome outside of the industry ministry where unions, Alcoa management and union representatives are looking at ways of avoiding the smelter’s closure.

A fake bomb discovered at the Portovesme smelter is said not to be connected with the industrial dispute.

The device, made up of what looked like gelignite was safely exploded by bomb disposal experts following an anonymous caller to news agency ANSA.

Alcoa plans to keep the plant open for another year.

Sardinia already has a 15% unemployment rent.